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The female farmers ploughing their way to success in Tanzania

08 March 2024

The female farmers ploughing their way to success in Tanzania

Although women make up almost half of the agricultural workforce in most developing countries, widespread gender bias creates access barriers to credit, land and markets for women, stifling their earning capacity.  

This International Women’s Day we focus on how, in Tanzania, Farm Africa, Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA), and the World Food Programme are tackling these issues with an approach that places women at the forefront of its business development efforts.

It’s been a chance for entrepreneurial women like Ayazi and Jenifa to transform not only their own futures, but those of their farming communities. 


Ayazi, a determined mother of six from Kiteto, Manyara, faced many challenges when it came to renting tractors during the planting season. This often led to missed planting opportunities and lost profits.

After attending a meeting organised by Farm Africa and the Farm to Market Alliance between farmers, farming advisory centres, agricultural dealers and suppliers, Ayazi was inspired to take control of her farming. In 2022 she purchased a tractor by dipping into her savings, which were initially set aside for the construction of her family home. Her husband Kiteto was in full support:

“After hearing that my wife was purchasing a tractor, our family felt incredibly motivated. We made the decision to prioritise the tractor over our home construction project, recognising the value it would bring to our farming endeavours.” 

Ayazi’s business instinct paid off. Not only did the tractor improve her own family’s farming efficiency, she was able to hire it out to other farmers in need of ploughing services. In 2023, with support from Farm to Market Alliance, she was able to secure a second tractor, expanding her capacity to provide mechanised services to the community.

The project also gave Ayazi support to improve her knowledge on good agricultural practices and market linkages. 

Today, Ayazi’s farm is more efficient, she’s able to provide for her family, and she’s inspiring other farmers in her community. Ayazi is one of the few female farmers in her community who own a tractor, and has now set a trend for others to do the same.

“We have no regrets and are proud of my wife's success”, says Ayazi’s husband, Kiteto.


A farmer and agricultural extension officer from Simanjiro District of the Manyara region, Jenifa has long been passionate about addressing the challenges her community faces in accessing quality agricultural supplies and services.

To tackle the issue, she took the initiative of establishing her own agricultural supply business, Ilaramataki Agrovet. Initially trading from her home, she began by sourcing supplies and services for her neighbours and nearby farmers.

With support from the Farm to Market Alliance, Jenifa has been able to realise her full business potential. She has quickly become a pivotal agro-dealer, extending her assistance to over 2,000 farmers in her community.

In addition to this valuable service, she has been able to purchase her own tractor, which enables her to offer tractor services to the community. She has also invested in a de-husking and shelling machine, with plans to acquire additional machines for ripping and planting to take her farming to new heights.

Through her remarkable journey with the Farm to Market Alliance, Jenifa has become a leading figure in her community’s agricultural development efforts. 

Jenifa and Ayazi are just two of the many inspiring women transforming the lives of their families and their communities with support from the Farm to Market Alliance. Learn more about this programme here.